#7: Impression After One Week…

After a week of listening to the album, I got more and more into the album. I actually noticed that I was humming Everything in its Right Place the other day. Thanks professor Dunphy!

I have listened to the album in various venues such as my room, on the train, in school, and just walking on the street. I have to say, the album sounds like crap listening through iPod headphones, it is so much better sounding through loud speakers or my boyfriend’s noise-canceling DJ headphones, you hear everything! I have noticed that for some reason, listening to Kid A on the train always annoyed me and I always wanted to skip all the songs. I guess it was because majority of the time, I was miserable going to school so early in the morning. Only at home, school, and other places I could listen to the album fully in peace and actually enjoy it.

Everything in its Right Place got a lot better. At times when I was down or studying, it just seemed to cheer me up, give me more energy, and the upbeat music and sort of fast vocals gave me a little more optimism.

Kid A got a little more creepier to me after a week of listening. It actually kind of scared me thinking about the future. One of my biggest fears is growing up and just change in general. Now that I know the meaning of the song, it makes me picture the future world as it was portrayed in the movie “Artificial Intelligence”. The beginning of the movie starts off with showing New York City, destroyed and abandoned. If Kid A was played at that very scene, it would have been perfect. The baby in the song, as I picture it, is played by Haley Joel Osment. Hopefully we won’t get THAT advanced so soon.

Overall, majority of the songs on the album, I did like. There was something about each song that made me like it, something different, each song had its very own personality. I think this album is definitely a work of art, just not at the first listen. You have to listen to the album more than once to get into it.

Rating: Still…4 out of 5!

#6: Song that… ???

The song I really cannot even have an opinion for and dislike is Treefingers. The song starts off soft, and has basically the same beat throughout the entire song, ambient slow sounds. Just like Kid A, it has this sort of space-like feel to it. While listening to the song, the title reminded me of a huge tree in a Twilight-looking forest with huge roots; with Bella creepily standing there and Edward weirdly sparkling. Those roots symbolize fingers and are just slowly moving on their own. I really do not know the meaning or reason for this song because it has no lyrics. Perhaps it is just a little segway song Radiohead created for the next song on the album, which is Optimistic.

The song could be interpreted to be optimistic, it is really relaxing and peaceful, definitely something I would listen to while doing yoga. However, this song is definitely not something I would blast on my iPod while walking on the street. It really has no use for me and I think it is two minutes and thirty-two seconds of nothing. I have to admit though, since Treefingers is a fully instrumental song, it was the soundtrack of my train ride one morning. Everyone in the train, including me was so miserable to be going to work or school. Everyone’s sluggish movements fit perfectly with the slow song, as if people heard my iPod headphones and were purposely moving to it. Someone in a review actually said:

Sounds like they got too lazy to write a real song, so they said “hey, let’s make random guitar noises and call it abstract. Don’t get me wrong though, Radiohead is awesome”.”

I actually agree with that person’s opinion. Seems like Radiohead just clicked random buttons on a computer or synthesizer to create this song. (It is actually speculated that a lot of the lyrics on the album have just been picked out of a hat). In an interview with Ed O’Brien, the guitarist and backup vocalist, actually said that this song was all done with guitar. It was at first a guitar solo by him and then Thom recorded about ten minutes of it and then cut and paste it into a sampler to create this ambient song.

Overall, I think this song belongs in some soundtrack and that is exactly what happened, it is the original soundtrack in the movie “Memento”. This song is nothing but a bunch of random noises to me.

Rating 1.5 out of 5!

Sources:

http://www.greenplastic.com/radiohead-lyrics/kid-a/treefingers/

#5: Absolute Favorite Song!

Despite the song being very slow and being about such an intensely emotional event (not typically what I like), Motion Picture Soundtrack is another song I love. The song starts off with a church-like organ playing. Not a surprise, but the beginning once again draws me in, I find it so calming. But when Thom Yorke’s beautiful soft voice enters the picture, the song gets twenty times better. The beginning lyrics of the song:

Red wine and sleeping pills
Help me get back to your arms
Cheap sex and sad films
Help me get where I belong”

Red wine and sleeping pills suggest only one thing, which is suicide, death, or just absence. However, knowing a little bit about Radiohead, I know they do not really have a history of writing about committing suicide which leads me to believe this song is not about Thom Yorke or any of the band members committing suicide but someone else. Maybe the person did not die, but just does not exist in Thom’s life, perhaps a beloved ex-girlfriend. The lyric that suggests this is “help me get back to your arms”, which is obviously referring to another person. Once again, I can deeply connect with the feeling after a special someone is just not there anymore, both physically and mentally. It does not necessarily mean death, just the lack of an individual’s presence. “Cheap sex and sad films. Help me get where I belong” shows how Thom Yorke is slowly breaking down and does not know how to react. Perhaps, he is receiving cheap sex from a prostitute. The prostitute and sad films are just distractions for Thom to help him cope with his recent and unfortunate loss.

Stop sending letters
Letters always get burned
It’s not like the movies
They fed us on little white lies”

This next set of lyrics suggests even further that maybe Thom broke off a previous relationship himself. He sounds so defeated, so close to giving up, almost fed up. His ex-girlfriend keeps sending him apology letters, but he just keeps burning them to try and get rid of that memory. The happy endings that were shown in movies were not going to happen, the letters were not going to change Thom’s mind. Another very familiar experience to me. Breaking off a relationship is just as hard as getting broken up with because no matter what there will always be that little “spark” (or at least most of the time).

Motion Picture Soundtrack is only about 3 minutes long, but the song lasts about 7 minutes long. I always thought that was just a glitch on my iPod because after the song was over, there was just silence, so I would always skip it. Little did I know, that if I continued to listen, at about 4:30 a new hidden song begins to play. The hidden song only lasts about a minute and has no spoken lyrics, just music playing, which for some reason reminds me of the “Hallelujah” song. The song has a godly sound to it.

My absolute favorite part of the song is when the background music starts to suggest a little optimism. Behind Thom’s voice, these magical-like harps start playing. Even though it does not fit into the genre at all, it fits in so perfectly with the song. Like I said previously, it has such a godly-like tone to it, perhaps trying to make the connection to heaven and that is where Thom will meet the person in their next life. Another favorite part is when the music has a slight pause and Thom’s voice hits a high note, saying “maybe I will see you in the next life”. He holds the last high note for so long. I just love the emphasis on that very last lyric of the song. So much emotion in such a simple song!

Rating 5 out of 5!

 


Sources:

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=8750

#4: The Song that Makes Me Want To Cry…

Another song, which I enjoy but makes me want to cry is Morning Bell. The song starts off with “Light another candle. Release me”, I do not know what that means but can only come to the conclusion that it is a religious reference. The song then continues to say “you can keep the furniture” and “bump on the head”, which in my opinion, refers to a divorce. A “bump on the head” could symbolize the physical fighting that was going on. The lyric “release me” is constantly being repeated, which I think means that Thom just does not want to be held and imprisoned by his wife or girlfriend’s chains any longer. Just like mentioned later on in the song, “nobody wants to be a slave” and neither does Thom. He is sick and tired of being the one who mainly contributes to the relationship.

Thom is then trying to find the car, trying to get away. “Clothes are all over the furniture”, so perhaps his clothes is everywhere being thrown around. Seems like Thom is getting kicked out but then he remembers about his dear children. “Cut the kids in half”, in my opinion suggests that if the parents do split up, the kids’ time will also be split up, they will have to share their valuable time with both adults.

I can easily interpret this song because it is something I dealt with at a very young age, too young. Although I did not fully understand everything, I began to connect the dots. At that age, I saw and heard things I should not have; my parents were constantly arguing over things I didn’t comprehend, yelling and just fighting 24/7. Then one day, I saw clothes everywhere and my dad packing. Everything happened so slow, yet so fast. Now, being almost ten years since their divorce, I realized how well I dealt with the situation and how much I learned. I was “cut in half” like the song said. My time had to be shared with both my mom and dad, even up until this day. It is difficult, it really is. The song is great , with a lot of emotion in it. However, it makes me picture everything that went on, which I do not really want to think about. Which is why I do not like this song.

After doing some research, I learned that Thom has a long term girlfriend (it is not known if they are married) whom which he has two kids with. Thom has never been married, which leads me to think that this song is not about going through divorce, but maybe the desire to get divorced at times where he feels pressured and stressed. The reason Thom doesn’t want to get married is possibly because he does not want his marriage to lead to divorce. He does not want to be labeled, and believes that you don’t have to be married to love a person. Everyone knows that relationships can get tough and at times you just need time alone to think. Perhaps Thom, at one point, felt as if he was being taken advantage of and didn’t receive enough credit.

Rating 3.5 out of 5!

Sources:

http://www.tv.com/people/thom-yorke/trivia/

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/radiohead/morningbell.html

The Daily Show Entended Interview: Elon Musk

The extended interview I chose to do from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart was with Elon Musk. He is the co-founder of Paypal, founder and chief designer of Tesla Motors and Space X. The reason I Chose this interview was honestly, to make it interesting for myself. I have never heard of Elon Musk, however I have heard of Paypal, which I actually use on a daily basis. I was always curious to know who the founders of that business were, and here we go. As soon as I saw “co-founder of Paypal” in the list of interviews while browsing, I automatically clicked on it from curiosity.

Now who is Elon Musk? He is a freaking genius in my opinion. It all started when Musk was a little boy. He purchased his very first computer at only 10 years old and taught himself how to program by the age of 12. I am pretty sure at 10 years old, I was busy having tea with my stuffed animals, definitely not inventing software. But soon enough, Musk sold his space game he invented called Blasta to a computer magazine for $500! That was the start of his inventions, interest in space as well as the internet. Musk founded Tesla Motors, in which he designed the Tesla Roadster, the first reliable electric car. Now, at only 40 years old, Elon Musk is known to have invented a space program, which will soon launch a space craft into orbit. Usually countries tend to launch space crafts, not a SINGLE individual (even Jon Stewart pointed that out), which I find completely amazing. Launching a spacecraft is quite the pretty penny, and Musk got that money from the capital made by Paypal. The question I would have liked to know was also asked by Jon Stewart which was how did he go from Paypal to space? Elon Musk thought the internet, sustainable energy, and space exploration could make human life even better by making it multi-planetary and that is how he came to invent what he invented. As stated by Elon Musk, the goal of Space X is to ensure that the lives of humans continue not just by solving problems on earth but by adventure, discovering new things and aspiration. As a matter of fact, Space X is the first non-governmental program that used a liquid fueled rocket to be launched into orbit! Eventually, the goal will be to make civilization on mars. Jon Stewart responds to that “Really? New York City…that shitty. Why not the moon…a little closer?”. Musk intellectually responds that the moon has no atmosphere, thus no resources could be provided by it. We technically won’t be abandoning earth, but sort of “starting over” and making human life multi-planetary. If Elon Musk’s mission is successful in however many years, I don’t think I can even comprehend how rich he will be, he will be an absolute MEGA billionaire.

Aside from his inventions, Robert Downey Jr.’s role of Tony Stark in the movie “Iron Man” was actually based on Elon Musk because “he is so intelligent and makes no sense when he talks”, as said by Robert Downey Jr. The producers wanted the character in the movie to seem realistic so that is why they based it on Musk.

Elon Musk is a determined and motivated individual. He certainly makes me want to go out and invent something, although I am not going to of course. After doing some research, I actually came up to find that Time Magazine named Elon Musk one of the “World’s Most Influential People” in 2010. I completely agree with that! Just like Jon Stewart said, Elon Musk really does seem like some type of X-Man.

 

 Sources:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/extended-interviews/412304/playlist_tds_extended_elon_musk/412114

 http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/08/robert-downey-jr-modeled-his-portrayal-of-tony-stark-after-elon-musk-one-of-the-founders-of-zip2-paypal-tesla-motors-and-spacex/

 http://www.crunchbase.com/person/elon-musk

 

 

 

#3: Song I Would Listen To In The Spaceship After My Abduction

The most weirdest and disliked song: Kid A. The song starts off with a sweet space lullaby. Listening to it, I felt like I was drugged by aliens and was flying around in outer space in their spaceship. The beats are very sweet up until the robotic voice comes in. Of course, the numerous times I listened to this song, most of the lyrics were really hard to comprehend. Since my computer makes these weird transformer noises when I control the volume, I literally thought the robotic voice was just a problem with my computer.

As I tried to interpret the song before looking up the lyrics, I just could not understand what the significance of this song was. Basically, the only clear vocals I understood throughout the song were “shadows at the end of my bed”. I already knew the motivation for writing this album so I could only come to think that Thom Yorke was referring to his feelings of being drained and scared of the fast pace of his fame. The shadows at the end of his bed could be a simple metaphor to the fame and it is just haunting him as he is trying to go to sleep. Another interpretation could be that the shadows are a metaphor for the people who do not support Radiohead, despite the amount of passion they put into writing their music. More specifically, it could refer to Kid A because it was such an experimental album and a huge modification for the band. Perhaps, that is the reason why the lyric “shadows at the end of my bed” is so clear unlike the other ones…it is the overall message of this song.

I could not figure out what the song was about, so it made me think I am definitely not the only one. But maybe that is what the song is about, a metaphor to life and the world in general, trying to figure out what it is all about…the journey called life. However, I surely do not know what the context behind the crying baby and the robot has to do with anything.

At the end of the song, it says “the rats and children follow me out of town. Come on kids”. Now this sounded familiar, it made me think of the childhood tale, The Pied Piper of Hamelin perhaps. Hm? The story had many versions but the most known one is when a town is infested with rats so the Pied Piper comes to get rid of them for a small reward. As he plays his instrument, the rats slowly begin to follow him. He goes towards the river, causing all the rats to drown. My last interpretation, I think the Pied Piper is obviously compared to Thom Yorke and the rats are possibly compared to the bands’ “haters”. Just like rats, they continue to judge and gnaw on Thom, not leaving him alone (not accepting his fame).

For giggles I made this image:

 

According to Yorke, this song is his vision of the first cloned baby. The song is about our current and future technological advancements, as well as the dangers of them. As stated by a fan, “It questions what it means to be a human being in the context in which every relationship is mediated by technology and technical rationality”. In my opinion, I think there is a subliminal message throughout the song. This song is though to be a bit controversial because supposedly the lyric “I slipped on a little white lie” played backwards is “Andrew Little must be shot”. After listening, I just think people are over thinking it and trying to create something new out of it song, I did not hear the Andrew Little part. However, I did notice that the song played backwards literally sounds the same as played regularly. Weird….

The song is clever and is definitely something Yorke would write about. The song is different, but in a good way (sort of). However, after listening to this album for two weeks, majority of the time alone in my room, the robot voice and crying baby kind of scared me off. The song was just way to creepy for me.

 

Rating: 2.5 out of 5!

 

Sources:

http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/11945/

http://www.helium.com/items/1689559-poetry-analysis-the-pied-piper-of-hamelin-by-robert-browning?page=3

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=3759

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2: Favorite Song…Everything in its Right Place

The first song that played on my iPod was “Everything In It’s Right Place”, which is my favorite song. Although I listen to mainly all types of music, my personal favorite is post-hardcore/screamo with a little pinch of electronica/trance. The electronic sounds, weird voice effects, and synthesizers in this song drew me in right away because that is the music I enjoy listening to.

The song starts off with an effect of what sounds like bits of Thom Yorke’s voice playing in reverse. The maybe hundred times I listened to this song, I could never make out what exactly he was saying. The first thing that jumped into my head, was this some time of subliminal message? (It is actually thought that Thom Yorke is saying “Kid A” repeatedly). The song then continues with “Everything in its right place”. My interpretation of this is that Thom Yorke just experienced something horrible and is trying to recover.

Later on in the song, it says “Yesterday I woke up sucking on a lemon”. I had no idea what the importance was of that lyric; but after thinking about a lemon, I thought…it is sour. Perhaps Thom Yorke compared the aftermath of whatever happened in his life and his emotions to a lemon simply because he was upset and it was clearly showing that he had a “sour face”.

My interpretation of the song was close, but quite wrong. After further research, I found that this song was written in response to how Yorke felt after a concert of his, absolutely drained and “burnt out”. The band was getting famous so fast that Thom could not take it anymore, he just did not know how to deal with it and did not know how to keep up with that accelerated pace.

The same lyrics re-occur in the song. Despite the repetition, I loved it! A lot of the time, for some reason this song would go on when I was studying or doing homework, the soft music was so relaxing and actually made me focus more. Surely, Radiohead cannot be compared to Owl City but the similar mellow background beats made me fall in love. The lyrics of the song are not very challenging, however, the message and motivation behind it is very emotional and powerful. This song actually reminds me of myself a lot because I get stressed out too much. Having to balance school, friends, family, working and many other things, I get overwhelmed very easy. Despite my phases of pessimism, after a while I am always determined that everything will fall right into place after I work hard enough. My life certainly does not compare to a rock star like Thom Yorke, but I can definitely connect to him and see how exhausted he feels.

Rating: 5 out of 5!

 

Sources:

http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/11944/

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1537